Michelle Obama and Ann Romney: Politics of Style

Photo by: Alex Wong/Getty Images

For the past four years, Michelle Obama has educated Americans on emerging fringe American designers and the art of mixing high-low fashion. Tuesday night at the

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Photo by: Alex Wong/Getty Images

For the past four years, Michelle Obama has educated Americans on emerging fringe American designers and the art of mixing high-low fashion. Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention was no different. Dressed in a pink and grey cocktail-length dress, designed by Tracy Reese--a mid-range-priced couturier made famous by the First Lady over her husband's term in office. The dress showed off Obama's famously sculpted shoulders, a physical embodiment of her platform for healthier living.

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Wed, Sep 5, 2012 3:02 PM EDT

When Michelle Obama wears a dress, people ask who designed it. When Ann Romney wears a dress, they ask how much it cost. In the case of Romney and Obama, they wear their party differences on their sleeves, or lack thereof. One day in the future, we may have two female presidential candidates whose words will be more scrutinized than their outfits. But for now, First Lady fashion is a critical element in a man's race for the White House, and the wardrobe of both wives shape the political discourse as much as any scripted speech.